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Super Bowl Date Change? Weather Threat Forces Contingency Plan

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 07:51 AM

By Michael Mullins

A Super Bowl date change is a possibility if severe inclement weather should prevent players from taking the field Sunday, Feb. 2, in what will be the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl in league history.

On Wednesday, the National Football League's Vice President of Business Operations Eric Grubman discussed contingency plans at MetLife stadium, the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J., where Super Bowl XLVIII will be played.

"What goes into whether deciding to (move) it, first of all, is public safety," Grubman said. "Unless it was a state of emergency which affected public resources in a way that made it impossible to get the resources here, or any kind of declaration by any of the authorities from the states involved that made it difficult to travel safety to and from the stadium, we would absolutely respect that."

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As Grubman delivered his comments to reporters, more than 1,000 workers removed 13 inches of snow from the bleachers after a heavy snowfall blanketed much of the Northeast earlier in the week.

If weather doesn't permit the game to be played Feb. 2, the Super Bowl will be rescheduled for the following Friday, Saturday or Monday, according to Reuters.

"Our aim is to play it at 6:30 p.m. [Sunday] and we are going to have every possible resource in place to do that along as conditions are safe," Grubman continued. "But if not, we have contingent plans with a lot of options available to us."

"Based on the long-range forecast, all that I would even hazard to guess is that it is probably going to be cold. I doubt we are going to have an unusual warm spell," Grubman added.

On Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "We are embracing the weather. Football is played in the elements."

In addition to the estimated 80,000 fans expected in attendance at Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, thousands of reporters from around the world will likely be scrambling to secure last-minute travel and lodging arrangements if the date should be changed.

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